Offline Netflix on Samsung Galaxy S4 to Samsung TV?
December 28, 2016 6:58 PM   Subscribe

My dad wants to be able to download Netflix shows or movies to his Samsung Galaxy S4 phone, using the new "download" function. He then wants to bring his phone to the cottage, where there is no Internet (just cell service) and play the show or movie on the TV there, without using data. What's the best way to go about this?

What we've already tried is using an MHL cable from the phone to an HDMI port on the TV. This works, but only for a couple of minutes before it starts buffering.

For reference, the phone is a Samsung Galaxy S4, the TV is this one (Samsung LED TV UN40C5000QF) and the wire he's using is this one (MHL to HDMI by Rocketfish). Is he doing something wrong that it keeps buffering?

The goal is to be able to watch downloaded Netflix content from the phone on the TV without using the phone's data. (He'll download the content while at home, connected to wifi.) If this isn't the best way to go about doing this, what is? Since there's no Internet at the cottage, I'm reluctant to recommend a router, particularly since I'm going to have to be the one to go up and set it all up because my dad isn't all that technologically inclined.

Any ideas? Thanks! :)
posted by juliebug to Technology (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Did the TV/phone actually display a "buffering" message or is that just the word you're choosing to describe stuttering video? Are you positive there isn't any cellular data at the cottage that the phone might have strayed onto, thus putting the Netflix app into streaming mode instead of local playback?

If the video was definitely playing from the phone's storage, it's possible the S4 doesn't have the oomph to play back video and drive the TV at the same time; I would try testing with a second phone (preferably a newer one) as well as with a different TV, and try a lower-quality video too. Put the phones in airplane mode when testing to rule out any streaming interference and make sure they're fully charged. This should hopefully narrow it down to the problem component.
posted by bizwank at 8:58 PM on December 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


Aha! He didn't put the phone in airplane mode, so it was almost certainly trying to stream through his cell signal. That seems to have done the trick except my father needs some help in terms of navigating the Netflix app, apparently, since he claimed it started playing a completely unrelated piece of media. (?!) I'm sure that last bit is user error, though.

Thanks so much! (And yes, buffering was my word for stuttering video, btw.)
posted by juliebug at 2:53 PM on December 29, 2016


Chromecast is a good option, https://www.google.com/chromecast/tv/ whatever is on your phone will be on your TV
posted by kanemano at 3:18 PM on December 29, 2016


Netflix has recently taken to auto-playing whatever content they're promoting on the landing page; if that's what he saw then disabling "test" mode on his account here should stop it.
posted by bizwank at 12:03 AM on December 30, 2016


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